by Jeff Lemire, Butch Guice, Allen Passalaqua, Matt Kindt, Clay Mann, Ulises Arreola, Robert Venditti, Rafa Sandoval, David Garcia Cruz

This past weekend was Free Comic Book Day 2015 and Valiant had a terrific special issue with tons to like for both old and new fans alike.

Bloodshot Reborn: The Dream

“The Dream” offers some of the most important tidbits of information of all the stories in this issue as it is not only a brand new Bloodshot story, but helps to fill in some of the missing gaps between the end of The Valiant #4 and the beginning of Bloodshot Reborn #1 as well as offering a basic introduction to what is sure to become one of Valiant’s biggest titles of the year, and into the future thanks to the recent movie news. Much of the story is an internal dialogue Bloodshot is having with himself as he starts to come to grips with what he has done over the past few years, and how the loss of his nanites at the hands of the Geomancer can affect his future. This is the type of story which Jeff Lemire seems to do best and the execution is pretty flawless, accompanied by some amazing art from industry veteran Butch Guice who will take over art duties for the Bloodshot Reborn series with the second arc of the book. Part of me feels like this would have easily been part of both last issue of The Valiant or the first of Bloodshot’s new series, but placing it in the FCBD special is a nice touch as it should serve to introduce new readers to what’s sure to be a powerful series at the low, low price of free. Terrific story!


Loyal Valiant fans will no doubt have seen the Ninjak #1 sneak preview in many books before this FCBD special but again, this issue is a perfect jump on point for new readers to a hot, and still quite new, property. I wish we would have seen a more Ninjak-centric story for this issue as the sneak preview heavily focuses on the ninja assassin Roku, but Matt Kindt loves writing this type of spy tale and his style comes through in these few pages, not to mention Clay Mann’s pencils which are simply awe-inspiring with the layer of color put on the page by Ulises Arreola.

X-O Manowar: Dead Hand “Building Things”

Last but certainly not least is Robert Venditti’s expansion of the current X-O Manowar arc, Dead Hand, with the story “Building Things.” There isn’t a whole lot of new information here, but the story does take place before the events of Dead Hand and uses the now deceased Control and Primary Reebo (or am I assuming decease?) explaining just what the Dead Hand protocol is and what it is designed to do. If you’ve been reading X-O Manowar, you may not really find much new here, though it was great seeing both of these characters again, and Rafa Sandoval’s art is simply amazing.

In addition, there are some great pieces of information including first appearances, deaths, best team-ups which will be great for new fans along with teasers for new Eternal Warrior, Archer and Armstrong, and Harbinger series which has really excited a lot of the current fan base the past few days. Overall, a great FCBD book which I hope will bring at least a few new readers on board.

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